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  • Writer's pictureKerryDawes

Why marketing isn’t a one size fits all - Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Updated: Nov 16, 2023


Often people ask should they invest in paid ads, or is SEO the way forward. The reality is not one approach works for every business. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be marketers! There are a number of variables that impact the right marketing strategy for you?


- Are you working locally, nationwide or even internationally?

- Are you selling products to buy or is it a service you offer?

- How much budget do you have?

- How instantly do you want results?

- Are you targeting a niche group or more general audiences?


effective marketing for small businesses

Taking a step back, marketing typically operates on a funnel with distinct phases.

1. Awareness:

At this stage, you aim to make your target audience aware of your product or service. This could also extend to introducing them to your unique approach or business model. This can also be called ‘education’ where you are educating your audience on what services you offer and what problems this service or product can solve.

2. Consideration:

Building trust and credibility in your industry is vital. Your audience needs to see you as a reliable and knowledgeable source to consider choosing your services. Case studies and testimonials are a great way to build that credibility.

3. Conversion:

This is where you turn potential customers into paying clients. An effective marketing strategy should be able to guide your audience through this process smoothly. This should include a clear website where people can make enquiries. Consider removing any barriers ie optimise your website journey or offer a free introduction call.

4. Retention:

Once you've acquired customers, the work isn't over. Building customer loyalty and retaining them is just as crucial as acquiring new ones. Using ongoing engagement, referral schemes and ongoing updates is key to help them remain as customers long term.


Now let’s look into the key variables a bit more and how they can influence the best marketing strategy for your business:


1. Geographic Scope:

Are you operating locally, nationwide, or even internationally? The geographical reach of your business is a crucial factor in determining the most effective marketing strategy. Local businesses may benefit from hyper-targeted advertising, while national or international enterprises require a more extensive approach to reach their audience. If you are offering a face-to-face service, focusing on local SEO keywords and highly targeted advertising is valuable. Whereas if you are more of a generalist and covering nationwide you may struggle to compete on very popular keywords. The best way to check is to start using the keywords you think your customers would use and check out the competition. Is it realistic for you to be able to compete with them? Remember, this geographic variable also impacts any special media strategy. Are you planning on engaging in local groups or do you need to target more niche but nationwide audiences?


2. Product or Service:

Are you selling products or offering services? The type of offering you provide plays a significant role in your marketing strategy. Products often rely on visuals and product descriptions, while services may require a more in-depth explanation of their value and benefits. For supporting services, case studies, testimonials and examples are great to demonstrate how you have supported other people of a similar nature.


3. Budget:

Your available budget is a critical consideration. Different marketing tactics come with varying costs. Paid advertising can be effective but costly, while SEO and content marketing require time and effort but can be more budget-friendly. Furthermore, content and social media strategies can be low cost but high effort compared to social media advertising. Your budget will determine which avenues are accessible to you.

Just remember, SEO doesn’t always mean free…. It takes significant effort and time. If you do invest in advertising, ensure you target the right people and take advantage of existing tools to segment to avoid you spending money on targeting the wrong people.

effective marketing strategies for small businesses

4. Time Horizon:

How quickly do you want to see results? Some marketing strategies offer immediate results, while others take time to build momentum. If you need fast results, pay-per-click (


PPC) or Social Media adverts may be your go-to option, but if you're in it for the long haul, content & social marketing and SEO can yield sustainable results over time.


5. Target Audience:

Understanding your target audience is paramount. Who are they? What are their pain points, needs, and preferences? Tailoring your marketing strategy to address these aspects can significantly impact your success.



Finally, here are some other tips that will enhance your marketing efforts.


1. Competition Analysis:


Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Analyse their marketing strategies, and identify gaps or opportunities in the market that you can leverage to your advantage. How can you be different and stand out? How can you adapt your message to be unique?


2. Data and Analytics:

The power of data cannot be underestimated. Use analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This data-driven approach allows you to make informed decisions and refine your strategy over time. Measure what strategies work, and what doesn’t? Consider a test & learn approach. If you invest in Facebook ads, set a budget and measure the ROI.


3. Content marketing & Social media

Beyond the traditional channels of search engines, publications and traditional adverts, social media and content strategies have become increasingly popular. You may think people wont buy your service or product via Facebook, but it would be a great way to tackle the awareness piece. Can you engage in relevant Facebook groups, create your own or create an engaging value add Instagram account to drive new followers.


4. Call to Action:

Every time you post something or conduct your marketing, ensure you include a ‘CTA’ Call to Action. It shouldn’t always be to ‘buy’ but it can be to ‘comment below’, ‘enquire today’ or something else.


Finally, remember to adapt and evolve as you get to know your customers and marketing performance. Markets evolve, and your strategy should adapt accordingly. Being open to changes and willing to pivot when necessary is a key element of success. When creating a marketing strategy for a small business you must learn to update and adapt over time.


Sadly marketing is a complex landscape but it’s something you can learn to suit your business.


If you’d like help creating a marketing strategy that suits your business, get in touch with us for an obligation free chat. Or consider our marketing mentoring service where we coach and empower you to run effective marketing yourself.

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